(b. 1610, Paris, d. 1696, Paris)

Still-Life with Basket of Plums

Oil on panel, 41 x 53 cm
Private collection

This painting is an early work by the young artist. She revealed at the age of 19 one of the very first signed and dated still-lifes known in France. The still-life genre had little regard in France, but became appreciated after the early 17th century and the reign of Louis XIII. The first known French works are dated from the 1620s and were popular among scholars who considered these paintings as worthy of display in cabinets of curiosities.

The present still-life adapts the subject of a simple basket filled with damson plums arranged frontally on a table. The rigorous composition is pure and balanced. The composition is staged against a dark background highlighting the Caravaggesque theatrical effect. The table's edge is part of the composition. It is visible throughout the length of the panel and is described with great realism. The light projects from beyond the frame and from the left. It draws the shadow of the basket and accentuates the drama and realism.

The painting is signed and dated lower right: Louyse Moillon / 1629.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.